Casper Woman's Property Overtaken By Six Squatters Who Trashed The Place

Wyoming isn’t immune to a property owner’s worst nightmare — squatters. Just ask a Casper woman who learned the hard way when her ousted tenant illegally leased out her home to six unwanted tenants, who trashed the property.

Clair McFarland

April 20, 20244 min read

File photo: Officer posts eviction notice
File photo: Officer posts eviction notice (Getty Images)

While Wyoming has not experienced the same influx of bizarre squatter tales other regions have reported recently, squatter clashes do happen here.

A Casper property owner and a Cheyenne Realtor both recalled their run-ins with unlawful home dwellers — aka squatters — to Cowboy State Daily on Friday.

The Casper property owner said she’s speaking out in favor of better legislation to empower local authorities in squatter situations.

The Realtor said these incidents are still rarer in Wyoming than in places with permissive or confusing laws, like New York City.

Clear Out

It was a warm day last autumn when Ronna Boril, who is a Casper property owner and president of Equity Brokers Inc., pulled out the key to one of her rentals on the east side of Casper.

She had kicked an errant tenant out days earlier and was going in to clean up the mess he’d made.

Then she heard footsteps coming down the stairs of the house, and a man appeared at the door, standing over Boril one step above her, she recalled.

He asked who she was and what she was doing there.

“I’m going to ask you the same question,” Boril countered. “Who are you and what are you doing in my house?”

Another six to eight men emerged from various rooms “like cockroaches,” Boril said.

The men claimed they’d leased the place and had paid rent to the former tenant.

Standing 5-foot-4 on the doorstep — alone — Boril stood her ground.

She informed the men they did not have a lease, they were trespassing, and that she would come back with the sheriff if they didn’t get their stuff and leave.

Boril did call police, but they said there wasn’t much they could do about it, she related.

The Natrona County Sheriff’s Office, which Boril said handles evictions in the area, did not immediately answer a series of questions Friday afternoon.

It’s a familiar story, however: A domestic violence expert told Cowboy State Daily last August that police can’t kick someone out of a person’s house on their behalf without a court order or notice of eviction.

Boril said she gave the men one day to clear out. And luckily for her, they did.

“But the place was absolutely trashed,” she said, adding that the men left behind drug paraphernalia. She cleaned the home, and had to repair flooring and other fixtures to the tune of about $3,000 to $4,000, she said.

Yet, Boril couldn’t tell which proportions of those damages were caused by whom, the squatters or the prior tenant.

Suddenly, A Hand

Buck Wilson, Wyoming REALTORS president, remembers a similar situation from when he went to visit a foreclosed property about 14 years ago.

Someone inside had used coaxial cables to bind the French doors shut, and when he tried to pull the doors open, someone grabbed his hand, he said.

“Scared the crap out of me,” he said with a laugh.

But the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office was able to respond and clear the squatters out, Wilson said, adding, “There was no meth lab in it or anything like that.”

And Yet

Despite that incident, Wilson said squatter run-ins are relatively rare in Wyoming. He credits legislative transparency, strong systems of accountability and state laws that protect landlords well.

“I’m proud to be in Wyoming versus other states, with potential problems you might see,” he said, echoing a Gillette landlord who said the same to Cowboy State Daily last month.

Boril, however, said the state still could improve. She said she’s reached out to her local legislators for clarity on what provisions of law may enable squatting, and how to fix those.

Clair McFarland can be reached at

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter